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  #491  
Old 06-25-2013, 06:55 PM
crisplove crisplove is offline
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I totally understand. Self compassion, love, and forgiveness takes time, but goes a long way.
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  #492  
Old 06-25-2013, 07:59 PM
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FoL, you are very empathic towards Si and your husband.

Are you going to be able to carry on two lives? What is the toll of this arrangement on you?

I get that you couldn't manage both relationships in the past, but you live and you learn.

What if Si were out of the picture? Could you be someone who lived a double life?
I feel empathy for both sides, and it makes it impossible to try and be neutral.

I have no idea if I am going to be able to do that. I guess that is why the question of, "Is it worth it," something I ask myself every day? Realistically, I cannot even explain why I want another relationship. My mum asked me the same thing, and I just stared at her. She was like, "What are you seeking, [insert given name here]?" The answer is nothing. My husband is meeting all of my needs. Three and half months ago, I could say that I was not getting the emotional support, but I also have to remember that my actions were directly responsible for him distancing himself from me. I believe the toll will be one that no one expected. I think it has the propensity to drain me and wear me out.

It was not only poor management, but it was the loss of balance and selfishness that really did us in. This past weekend a couple of those old habits came out. The new me knew it felt wrong, but the old me thought it was comfortable and familiar, which made it easy. I acknowledged that it felt wrong, and that I should not have done that. That is massive improvement for me. Before I would have recognised it and shrugged it off.

With or without her around, living a double life would not be easy for me. I would have to train myself to do it, and it would have to be honed like an art. To his family, our new colleagues, and anyone we encounter after the move, I will appear to be 1/2 of a traditional marriage and mother of two. Publicly at least. To those who know us best, my family, and everyone else who has known us over the past several years, I would once again be the poly wife with a mono husband, two children, and a girlfriend. It is already confusing and headache inducing. I would have to be mindful of how I act and what I say while out with her. One slip-up could lead to problems. Imagine if one of our respective colleagues saw me out on a date with her, and it got back to him. Suddenly, I could be painted as the cheating wife. The entire thing would be tedious, like I was cheating, and she was dirty little secret.

I am not seeing the appealing side. Maybe I am missing it. I get to be "myself" and have my relationship again. Only, it will be completely hidden because my spouse has made it clear that being out is not even an option, and he has a list of stipulations and limits on top of that. I am missing the good and happy part of this.
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  #493  
Old 06-25-2013, 08:24 PM
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Don't forget, the learning part takes time and practice in small doses. I think that is what FOL is trying to do. You don't just one day wake up and decide to go out and run a marathon. You have to get in shape, train, stumble and fall, pull out the ice packs and pain meds... rinse and repeat until finally you are ready to run that marathon. It may take years.

For the record. I think you guys are doing well. Matt didn't sit and stew about what happened, he brought it up and addressed it. You recognized that you screwed up almost immediately and started to look at how to not repeat it, even before he said anything. Then you took it to your counselor. I would say this is progress from how things happened in the past.
We are in training. Rigorous and sometimes painful training and personally, it is whipping my butt into shape. I am not ready for the race, yet. In due time. We are learning what does and does not work. The three of us being together at a social event? Awkward and uncomfortable. Not a good idea. With the seating arrangement, I was seated in between the two of them. I did not think to ask the bride if it could be changed. With 500+ guests, it did not seem like it was worth it to bug her with that. A year ago, that would have been fine. I was happy we had a rowdy bunch at our table, so the awkwardness dissipated relatively quickly. I was grateful that the DJ kept everyone on the floor all night. Some slower songs were played, but the bride and groom's first dance was to, "Moves Like Jagger," so it was a very relaxed environment. The open bar helped, too.

We are getting much better at problem solving. He takes a day or two to think certain things over, but he eventually comes to me and tells me whatever it is. The good thing is I am listening to him and hearing him out. We are not arguing any more. We disagree, but if things start getting too heated, we agree to back away from it, calm down, and meet at a later point. Like I said, it felt wrong, and I went in to, "How to avoid this again," mode. We talked about it over dinner and agreed to some more terms. We have all agreed that right now, their interactions only need to be during counselling. She called me when she landed, and I told her what happened and how we would like to proceed. She agreed that limiting contact was for the best, and it would give them both much needed space and breathing room. They are no longer working with one another, and the next several weeks will keep us all busy, so there will be no need for them to be around one another. It seems like everyone is happy with that.
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  #494  
Old 06-27-2013, 04:24 PM
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We had a counselling session this morning per my husband's request. It was a surprise to me. I was notified at the last minute. It was not the most pleasant of experiences. Apparently, he has been doing research on poly, and he concludes that he shifted from an equal in our marriage to that of a secondary, with my relationship with Si having "couples privilege" over my marriage. She did have a level of veto power. I did put her feelings before his. Everything a secondary dreads is what I did to him. Everything but breaking up per her request. She never asked that I do that. It was like I was married to HER and simply dating him. Is it any wonder that he has zero desire to ever be exposed to poly again? I said it during the session, and I will say it again. I treated him like a second class citizen and a secondary. The amount of time I spent with him and our family...wow. It was like I was just visiting our home and him and not living with him despite my name being on the mortgage. I was at her place just that much. Many times over I would renege on plans with him and go with her. Like I told our therapist, there was no balance. I was complacent with our marriage. I took him for granted because he was the legal spouse, thus in my mind, it made the marriage the more secure of the two. I treated him differently. I held him to a different standard. He was already giving 1000%, but I was pushing for more. It makes no sense to me. Instead of balancing my resources like I did the first eight years, I lost track of that, and I put him in the role of a secondary without even realising it. Making decisions that would affect him and not consulting with him. When I read the proposed secondary's bill of rights, it read like a page from the book of my poly life. He asked me, "Now, do my boundaries make sense to you?" Yes, they do. He is not trying to control me or dictate how I live my life. He is trying to make sure he does not walk through and live poly hell again and become my secondary, while putting in effort like before. He was not receiving what he was giving. While I was being deceptive, making plans without him, and granting another person equal rights and access to our children, his importance was slipping down the totem pole. Our therapist and Matt were waiting on me to come to this realisation.

The other realisation was just how much my choices affected my child. She asked her a few basic questions, and my child being my child said more than the simple, "yes" or "no." It started with a simple, "Do you remember me?" She said yes because they had cupcakes together and played with Barbies. They did do that while we were on our holiday. She said that she spent more time with her daddy and brother than with me because I was always gone with "my friend." She said who it was. Si. She asked her if she missed me. She responded, "Yes." She asked if she spent a lot of time with just Matt and myself? She said, "No. Mummy or daddy." Emphasis on the "or." It broke my heart to hear that. She looked at me several times when answering the questions like she was trying to make sure it was okay to say it and trying not to hurt my feelings. It made me feel awful to hear that from my child. I am sorry I was not there for my baby when she wanted me to be.

Once she finished talking to her, she talked to us. Matt opened up to me. I finally understand the extent of the damage. It was one of the hardest conversations we have had. He said that he went from feeling important in my life to being expendable and like he could be replaced. He said, "I put up with your bullshit and made excuses for it to help myself sleep at night. I tricked myself into believing those excuses and that it would get better. I reached my breaking point. I knew I deserved better than how you were treating me. I was in hell. What you did over the weekend? Sweetheart, you set off a domino effect of triggers and put me right back in the place where I hated and where I have finally escaped from. I have a question for you. What did I do to deserve to be treated like your bitch and your secondary?" It was said in a very calm way and in a serious manner. Our therapist tried to intervene and give us a break. This conversation was bound to happen. With or without her. I told her that I was going to answer it. "Nothing." He asked another question. "Was your treatment of me punishment for loving you, supporting you, meeting your needs, etc.?" I could not answer that. Who punishes someone for being supportive in every sense of the word? Who punishes someone for being that shoulder they can cry on? Why punishes someone for loving them with all your many hang-ups and flaws? Who punishes someone for loving them at what they believe to be their worst and continues to love them just as if they were at their best? Apparently me. He felt like my treatment of him was punishment for him being good to me. People treat their abusive spouses better than I treated my husband, who has never disrespected me or laid a hand on me.

We talked about how he ended up in a relationship with her. Basically, it was the temporary transference of his feelings and emotions. I was absent, and ironically she was around more than me. Even if it was just in a professional capacity, she was still around him more than me. They developed a friendship and spent time together. At that point, my neglect of him and our marriage had been going on for the greater part of four years. On top of that and my fucked up choices, I was busy with work, so it kept me away, too. It all boils down to him wanting to feel respected, needed, important, and loved. The things he no longer felt with me. With me, he felt disrespected, unimportant, expendable, and loved at certain times. He sought someone else to get what he had been telling me he needed all along. He realised that being with someone else was not what he wanted. Thus, poly was not the path for him. Despite how I treated him, he only wanted those things from me. I was too busy with work and Si to tend to his needs. He came out and said today, "She was not you. I cared for her, but I only wanted you, [insert given name]. That is why I stopped sleeping with her and wanted to end the relationship as soon as it started. I knew it was not going to last."

The notion of living of a poly life again is a trigger for Matt. She told me that I was missing that completely and only thinking of myself and what I wanted. He said, "Just like before." He came out and said that the thought of it scares him. It takes him to a place where he can see the past five years happening all over again. He just broke free from whatever he was going through all those years, and I am trying to take him right back and risk it happening again. She asked him, "Is there a benefit in living poly for you, Matt?" He said, "No." She asked him, "Are there any risks in it for you?" He said, "Yes." She asked him to list some of those risks. Each one was valid and very concise. Sadly, they could all happen.

Matt was pretty candid. He is not convinced that I even want to be with Si again. He thinks I am empathetic and wanting to make amends because I am the one who broke her heart. At this very moment, I cannot explain why I want to get back in a relationship with her. I cannot explain what being a polyamourist will bring or has even brought to my life. I do not consider myself polyamourous. It is not my orientation. It is not my state of being. It was something I CHOSE to practice. It is not a need. It is really not even a want. It is solely an option for me. This is not how some others approach non-mono relationships. My way works for me and worked for past loves, but it may not work for this marriage. My therapist was keen to point that out. As well as some other things that I had not thought of.

We have a date tonight, and we have agreed not to discuss anything from today until we have had time to process all that was said. We have our regular marital counselling tomorrow morning. Three sessions in a week? I hope this is not the new standard for us. I know we have issues, but my goodness. I am not trying to see her that much. Twice a week is enough!

I have quite a bit to think about, but I am happy that we had the session. This could not wait until our next poly related session. Some questions have finally been answered. I am not upset about anything he said. I appreciate conversations that challenge me and force us to be vulnerable with one another. I know he is feeling much better. He took our children to get ice cream, but outside of that we have been together all day.

Interesting day, but no one said the repair process was going to be easy or pleasant, right?
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  #495  
Old 06-27-2013, 07:21 PM
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If it's any consolation, I, too, feel that I repaid my spouse poorly for her unflagging loyalty to me. How we wish we could turn back the clock and amend our choices, am I right? We can only live and work in the present, and plan tentatively for an uncertain future.

I'm glad you guys are slowly working through the healing process.

Regards,
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  #496  
Old 06-28-2013, 03:55 PM
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Oh absolutely, Kevin. The question I am left with, "Is why is he still here now? That question is all but haunting me?" I have been left dissatisfied with his answers to it. It has nothing to do with him, though.

It was hard to heal properly without knowing all the facts. Another small step, so it is a positive thing.
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  #497  
Old 06-28-2013, 04:04 PM
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Oh absolutely, Kevin. The question I am left with is: "Why is he still here now?" That question is all but haunting me.
1) He loves you, despite it all
2) For the kids
3) You're smart, and successful career-wise
4) You're pretty and look good on his arm on dates and at career related functions
5) The sex is good, when you manage
6) You're both Sloane Rangers, same social strata
7) Divorce is a PITA
8) He has low self esteem (despite the bluster) and doesn't really believe deep down, he can get someone better than you
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  #498  
Old 06-28-2013, 05:24 PM
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Matt and I had a date last night. It was not the traditional date. We decided to go to places that had a special meaning to us. The place where we had our first date. The club where we danced and had fun until the wee hours of the morning. Every place we went to had some special meaning behind it. We had dinner at an old favourite. It was romantic and relaxing. We talked, laughed, and reconnected after what was easily one of the most tense days we have had yet. He asked me to dance, and the song was, "Make You Feel My Love," by Adele. (I love her version.) The dance was perfect. It was like there was no one else in the room. When you are that lost in someone and in a moment that feels that perfect, there are no words for it. After dinner, we went to Boujis. We needed to have a little fun. We spent many nights there. We did Crack Baby shots and danced. I loved letting my hair down and letting go of some of the seriousness for once. I need to do that more often. We went to 5 Hertford Street and just talked. By then, we wanted a snack. We ended up at Duck and Waffle. We stayed long enough to watch the sunrise from the 40th floor. Simple moments are what my heart beats for.

We made it home a bit after 5:30. It felt weird coming in after the sun was already up. Our children were still sleeping. Nanny J was already up. We talked to her over tea. It was a funny and light-hearted conversation. Matt and I took a shower and headed to sleep. I had to work for the first few hours of the day, so I took a nap. He was still knocked out when I left. I left him a note on my pillow. He sent a text when he read it. I appreciated that. We are ten times healthier. I cannot explain how happy that makes me.

Since Matt was at home most of the day, he had the pleasure of setting up for our daughter's party and sleepover. All of her friends RSVPed. We are about to have a house full of very active little girls, who will be hyped up on sugar. Give me strength. We are having our going away party tomorrow, so we figured it would only be right for her to have one with her friends. My son's birthday party is Sunday. Busy weekend, and I cannot believe we are leaving Sunday night. Where did the week go?

I have not talked to Si much since she moved. It is a nine hour time difference, so our schedules have not aligned very well this week. I do know that she has settled in nicely. Her first day of orientation with her new job was today. She e-mailed me several pictures and video footage of her new place. It is beautiful, and it reflects her style. Monochromatic with a bold pop of colour interjected. It is very state of the art. It reminds me of a smart home. Keyless entry where the lights, music, and air conditioning can be programmed to come on upon entry in to the home. The one feature that I love is the 180 bottle wine wall. Forget a wine cellar. She loves it there, and judging by the latest e-mail, her new job is a great fit. I am beyond happy that she is adjusting so well and enjoying herself. The past four months have probably been hard on her, so if she is happy, then I am happy for her.

I do want to talk to her about why she would agree to Matt's terms. I want to do it face to face. I could just e-mail her about this, but I prefer not to. She might be thinking like me, "Since I caused this, I am not in the position to ask for compromises that would be self-serving." It could be more of a guilt related reaction. I just kind of want to understand why she would agree to only being able to see me for one overnight a week and all the other items on his list. I know I cannot control anyone's emotions or feelings but my own, but I find myself wondering, "Is she really going to be happy seeing me maybe 10 hours every week (including lunch dates) and maybe one date a week?" I know the quality of the time spent is better than the quantity of time, but is it possible to get your needs met with an arrangement like this? I am not concerned about my needs. They are already being met by him, but I cannot help but wonder about hers? I wonder because she has already stated that if we get back together, she has no interest in dating anyone else. I offered an option like before. Staying closed with the option to re-open if she wanted to because it was her idea to close our relationship. She knows what she does and does not want, and I have to respect that. Maybe we can set some time aside next weekend.

I need to go mingle with our guests and greet everyone. Their parents are staying put for awhile. Thank goodness for that.
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Old 06-28-2013, 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Magdlyn View Post
1) He loves you, despite it all
2) For the kids
3) You're smart, and successful career-wise
4) You're pretty and look good on his arm on dates and at career related functions
5) The sex is good, when you manage
6) You're both Sloane Rangers, same social strata
7) Divorce is a PITA
8) He has low self esteem (despite the bluster) and doesn't really believe deep down, he can get someone better than you
1) I know he loves me. I foolishly took him for granted.
2) He is family oriented, so I know our children played a huge role in the decision to stay put.
3) Good point. I am independent. He loves that with or without him, I can stand on my own two feet.
4) He looks even better on my arm. He can be my man candy.
5) Indeed. With no implant in, I am surprised I am not pregnant right now.
6) Sloane Rangers who skipped out on the fast lives some of our counterparts have lead. You should see some of these people. At our friends wedding I found myself looking at the some of guests and wondering, "Why are you 31 but look every bit of 50 and like you have lead the hardest life?" All that boozing it up and all the drugs have done them no favours.
7) It is. 110%. I would rather stay married and legally separated than deal with a divorce. Having a difficult ex would make it all the more challenging.
8) He knew he could get someone better, so it is definitely not self-esteem. Matt is very confident and sure of himself. It is one of the things that attracted me to him. Confidence is one of the sexiest non-physical attributes. He tries to see the best in everyone. My guess is he sees the good in me that is worth loving.
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Old 06-28-2013, 06:55 PM
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As for Si, maybe she is an independent type and doesn't need as much connection per week? I am just guessing. If she is only bowing to Matt's requirements out of guilt, that wouldn't be such a good thing.
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